Preview: Mayhem @ Fayetteville Marksmen (Game 29)

Mayhem Point Streak Comes to an End
A three-game point streak came to an end for the Mayhem on Saturday night, who were ousted 5-2 by tonight’s opponents, the Fayetteville Marksmen. Five unanswered Fayetteville goals on Saturday put the game away, as the Mayhem coughed up a 2-0 lead in the first period and could not recover.

An enormous momentum boost in the visitors’ favor occurred when Taylor McCloy buried a shorthanded goal late in the first. He tied the game just a minute later on a 2-on-0, and the Marksmen did not look back. The Mayhem have now allowed a league-high seven shorthanded goals this season, none of which was more costly than Saturday’s. Coach Michel has gone over some of the most critical issues from Saturday’s defeat with the team in practice and on film, and tonight’s rematch will put what Macon has learned to the test.

The Matchup
Michel is confident that tonight’s game plan will be crystal clear for the Mayhem, having just faced the Marksmen six days ago. He indicated how crucial it was to slow the game down and to disrupt Fayetteville’s rhythm. As the second half of the season kicks off tonight, the Mayhem have an impeccable opportunity to redeem themselves by earning their first road victory of the season. In their last away game, they earned their first road point in Pensacola by forcing overtime against the Ice Flyers.

Unlike the majority of teams in the SPHL, the Marksmen have actually fared better on the road this season than they have at home. Still, they’ve only lost a single game in regulation at the Crown Coliseum, producing a solid home record of 6-1-4. If tonight’s game goes according to plan for the Mayhem, the contest will not be pretty or high-scoring. It will be a slow-paced, tight-checking game. Fayetteville has now gone to overtime in seven of its last ten tilts, suggesting tonight’s game may need to be won in the trenches.

Cameron Returns from IR
Mayhem forward Caleb Cameron was activated off the 21-day injured reserve on Tuesday of this week. The Alternate Captain is expected to return to action this weekend, though his exact role is yet to be determined. There is a chance he will be utilized as the tenth forward until he can re-acclimate himself, but there is also a possibility he re-assumes his customary spot as the second or third line center. It will depend on how he is feeling at the onset of the matchup, but regardless, his return is a substantial lift for the Mayhem. The third-year veteran ranks fifth on the team in scoring this season, and as he has proven, is willing to play whatever role necessary to help the team win.
College Night / First Responders Night / Pack the Plex
The Mayhem embark on a five-game road stretch tonight, but will return to the Macon Centreplex at the end of the month for a three-game weekend against three different opponents. Thursday, January 30th will be College Night; $10 tickets will be available to college students who show a college ID. Friday, the Mayhem will honor first responders in the Middle Georgia community, and Saturday will mark the team’s first-ever $6 ticket night. All general admission seats on Pack the Plex Night are only $6, and can be purchased via the Mayhem website or at the box office. The team will also be wearing specialty Nickelodeon™ jerseys with a Double Dare focus on Saturday, which will be sold at a live auction in the Centreplex lobby following the game. For tickets to either contest, click here.